- If you were looking for the in-universe poet, go to Paula Nancy Millstone Jennings.
Paul Neil Milne Johnstone (1952–2004) was a real poet who lived in Redbridge, Essex. Johnstone had attended Brentwood School with Douglas Adams and the two jointly received a prize for English. There Johnstone edited Broadsheet, "the Artsphere Magazine" that included mock reviews by Adams as well as Johnstone's own poetry. Johnstone won an exhibition to study at the University of Cambridge (as did Adams).
His name was used by Adams as the author of the worst poetry in the universe in the original radio broadcast, though this was changed to Paula Nancy Millstone Jennings for all subsequent version of Hitchhiker's.
Johnstone went on to achieve moderate prominence in the poetry world as an editor and festival organiser, including the 1977 Cambridge Poetry Festival.
He died of pancreatic failure, almost three years after Douglas Adams' death, in 2004. It is presumed that poetry was not a factor, although that remains a possibility.